BAKERSFIELD, Calif. – CSU Bakersfield plated six runs in the fourth inning to break open a tie game and Kansas State couldn’t match the Roadrunners the rest of the way as CSUB earned a 7-3 victory to even the series Sunday at Hardt Field.
CSU Bakersfield pounded out 11 hits, including five that went for extra bases. Oscar Sanay, Garrett Pierce and Kevin Younger each recorded two hits for the Roadrunners, while Tyler Shryock added two RBI.
With the game tied at 1-1 in the fourth, CSU Bakersfield recorded eight hits to score its six runs. CSUB had eight-straight plate appearances that produced either a hit or a run scored, including four extra-base hits in the frame. Pierce and Younger each had RBI doubles, while Shryock recorded a run-scoring triple.
“It’s the baseball adage – a lot of times the big inning beats you,” head coach Brad Hill said. “We always talk about having a chance to stop a big inning, and we didn’t do that. Six is way too many. We were hoping to stop that thing at four when Kayvon came in, which is still too many, but at least you keep yourself in the ballgame.”
The Wildcats chipped away with a run in the sixth inning on a Blair DeBord sacrifice fly. K-State loaded the bases later in the inning, but CSUB starter Scott Brattvet (1-0) got out of the frame and minimized the damage.
K-State collected a run in the ninth on a run-scoring single from Jared King and had two runners on base, but Spenser Messmore recorded a ground out and a fly out to earn the save and give the Roadrunners their first win of the year.
Brattvet, a junior-college transfer, went six innings in his first career start for CSUB, allowing two runs on six hits with three walks and five strikeouts. Messmore allowed an unearned run in three innings with a walk and a pair of punch outs.
“They threw strikes,” Hill said of the two Roadrunner pitchers. “We had to beat them swinging the bats, and when you get in a situation when you’re up six runs, it’s mainly throw strikes because it takes a lot of hits to beat you. We swung the bats well, but we had a couple of well-struck balls that were right at them.”
K-State starter Joe Flattery (0-1) suffered the loss as he surrendered five runs on five hits with a walk and a strikeout in 3.1 innings of work. Senior Kayvon Bahramzadeh followed Flattery by allowing a pair of runs in 2.2 innings.
A bright spot on the mound for the Wildcats was the performance by a pair of freshmen relievers in Nate Williams andRobert Youngdahl. Williams, a right-hander, threw a perfect seventh inning with two strikeouts, while Youngdahl, a lefty, worked around an infield single with two strikeouts of his own in the eighth.
“They did a great job. I was really pleased with those two guys,” Hill said about his freshman hurlers. “You hate to see a situation where you’re down like that, but if you ever pick the time to put new guys in, it’s with nobody on in a fresh, clean inning. They’re out there relaxed because it wasn’t a tight ballgame. I would have liked for us to be up by five or six and bring them in in that situation, but they came out and did a really nice job.”
King and Mike Kindel paced the Wildcats at the plate with two hits apiece. Five other Wildcats recorded one hit in the contest, including Jake Brown, who had a RBI single in the third to get K-State on the board.
The Wildcats and Roadrunners conclude their three-game, opening-weekend series at 4 p.m., Monday. Redshirt sophomore Gerardo Esquivel will start for K-State, while junior-college transfer Taylor Aikenhead is expected to start for CSUB. The game can be heard in the Manhattan area on SportsRadio 1350 KMAN and online at www.k-statesports.com and www.1350kman.com.
(Story courtesy of KStateSports.com)